Clinton: Russia, China 'Should Pay a Price' on Syria
She calls for Beijing, Moscow to get involved at 'Friends of Syria' meeting
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2012 10:19 AM CDT
Hillary Clinton and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the "Friends of Syria" conference in Paris, Friday, July 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

(Newser) – At a "Friends of Syria" meeting today in Paris, Hillary Clinton called in strong terms for Russia and China to "get off the sidelines" and intervene in Syria. "I don’t think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all for standing up for the Assad regime," Clinton said, but they "should pay a price. They are holding up progress and blockading it." She called on the 100 international diplomats in attendance to send the same message to Beijing and Moscow, neither of which attended the meeting.

The meeting came amid news that a leading Syrian general had defected, and French officials said he was on his way to Paris, the Christian Science Monitor reports. At the meeting, French President François Hollande called for a transitional government and Bashir al-Assad's ouster, and UK diplomats called for more sanctions. But some analysts worry that too many meetings are happening without achieving any results—this is the third "Friends" meeting so far—which could actually hurt the cause by convincing Russia the rest of the world isn't actually prepared to do anything.

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